Hesson picked for Economic Development position

MD-Brandon Hesson becomes ED director_2x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Brandon Hesson gets completely involved in downtown business, and will now take on economic development for the entire town of Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Main Street Director Brandon Hesson has been picked as the new Associate Director of the Cambridge Economic Development department. Mr. Hesson announced that he stepped down as Executive Director of Cambridge Main Street on March 15, and accepted the position of Associate Director of Economic Development for the City of Cambridge, moving on after a little less than two years heading the nonprofit organization tasked with the economic revitalization of the downtown commercial district here.

“I’ve been very fortunate to work with incredibly versatile business owners, volunteers and community leaders while with Cambridge Main Street,” said Mr. Hesson. “I’m not moving on, just moving forward into a role that will allow me to continue to make a positive impact for our entire community, not just here downtown.
“The Cambridge Main Street district is still a very important part of my new position,” he continued. “The relationships I’ve made here will continue to be critical.”

Mr. Hesson began in July 2014, one week before Cambridge Main Street’s flagship event Taste of Cambridge, and only two month’s before IRONMAN Maryland first ran through the streets of downtown Cambridge. That December, he built Cambridge Main Street’s first Crab Basket Christmas Tree, which garnered attention across the state, appearing in the The Washington Post and was the catalyst for Cambridge being named among the “Top 12 Christmas Towns in Maryland” by OnlyInYourState.com.

Mr. Hesson appreciates the compliments he receives for the Crab Basket Christmas Tree, and says one his most endearing memories is when then governor-elect Larry Hogan had his picture taken in front of it with wife Yumi during a holiday visit with Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot. However, he is quick to point out that the tree was a collaborative effort and the result of a brainstorming session with downtown business owners.

“I started in the middle of what felt like a million massive and very high-profile events. I learned pretty early on that if I was going to succeed, it was going to require the input of our businessowners and volunteers,” Mr. Hesson remembers. “We’ve taken that philosophy and used it to expand our ability to provide unique promotional events downtown.”

In 2015, Cambridge Main Street partnered with downtown businesses to hold IRONFEST, an entertainment alternative with food and live music for IRONMAN Maryland spectators, and collaborated with the Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth and Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy to bring the Wild & Scenic Wildlife and Adventure Film Festival to Cambridge in the fall of 2015. During the holidays, Cambridge Main Street worked with businesses to promote Miracle on Poplar, a toy drive which collected Christmas presents for 75 needy children in Cambridge.

Cambridge Main Street will unveil a new website at its Spring Fling event on April 9 at the Choptank River Golf and Events Center, funded by donations and a grant awarded by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority. Proceeds from this event will help expand the downtown security camera program Mr. Hesson pulled together in December of 2015 with the help of service providers Bay Country Security and Bay Country Communications.

“Brandon has been a constant source of creative energy, who has brought a lot of positive attention to our city in a relatively short period of time,” said Cambridge Main Street Board President Tom Hutchinson. “His work has built on the efforts of previous directors, and continues to improve the downtown commercial environment. I’m excited for him and his family, as well as for the City of Cambridge for recognizing his capabilities and the impact he has had in our community.”

The search for a new Executive Director of Main Street begins immediately, and candidates can find a detailed job description and desired qualifications at www.cambridgemainstreet.com.

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